Hong Kong House Prices Slow Down

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Hong Kong home sales have dramatically slowed down in the past year, according to the latest official figures.

Although sales were up 2% between April and May, the year on year trend shows a steep 11% decline, statistics from the Land Registry reveal.

The May increase put the brakes on a run of seven months in a row where prices dropped.

As the number of house sales have fallen away, so have prices.

Developers have started offering deeper discounts and incentives to buyers, but a steady supply of new homes coming to market and uncertainty among buyers about what will happen to interest rates is discouraging many from making a purchase.

Real estate consultants Knight Frank say the luxury market has performed slightly better, seeing only an 8% drop in prices.

One prestigious house of more than 9,000 square feet was sold for a Hong Kong record of HK$2.1 billion.

However, the company cites development land fetched 20% less per square foot than the site next door which was sold eight months ago.

EU can’t agree Cyprus house prices

In Cyprus, the European Central Bank and European Commission are arguing about the true value of homes on the Mediterranean island.

The ECB claims that properties with mortgages are undervalued by between 4% and 16%.

The EC maintains that they are 5% over valued.

The appraisal of home values is important to bankers as a measure of wealth and how Cyprus can repay bail-out loans. Homes make up the major component of many country’s economies.

Market cools in Australia

House prices in Australia nudged down in the first three months of the year, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The official residential property price index (RPPI) fell back 0.2%.

House prices in all eight state capitals stood still at 0%. Individually, prices were up slightly in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, while Perth (-1.7%) and Darwin (-2%) plunged in line with the rapid decline in mining and commodity prices worldwide.

The cities are centres for commodity resources.

“Property prices are about right and nowhere near a bubble,” said economist Shane Oliver, of AMP Capital. “The figures are overstating a cooling in the market and we should not read too much into them.”

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